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How much gold do you need for a wedding ring?

Author: yongtuo
Dec. 06, 2023
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I think you'd be hard pressed to make you a gold ring out of 24k, the highest I've ever come across or owned is 22k. I'm thinking 24k is too soft or would easily get scratched but hopefully a jeweler chimes in here as I'm certainly not an expert.

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A common goal for gold prospectors is to get enough gold to make a ring. Maybe for themselves or for a loved one, but either way, I am often asked what it takes to do this. So, here’s what it takes:

TLDR: You need about 5 grams of pure gold to make one ring. Then you need a goldsmith with the skills to do the job.

The ring I had made for Laura. The flowers are daisies she has doodled for years.

First, the gold. You have been collecting gold for a while and have now accumulated 5 grams or more. Is it enough? Maybe and maybe not. It depends on the purity of the gold you have collected. Depending on the source, Colorado gold particles can be anywhere from about 75% gold all the way up to over 95% – your results elsewhere may vary. Your gold may also still be contaminated with a little bit of black sand and other non-gold stuff. Either way, this is best dealt with before handing the gold over to a goldsmith.

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So, second, time to purify some gold. If you have a lot of black sand and such mixed in with your gold, try using my low cost, highly effective cleaning process here. If it’s already pretty cleaned, simply melting the gold with some borax will probably do the job. Adding some silica sand can also help as that will melt into a glassy substance which will absorb most of the impurities in your gold sample but even just borax is often enough. Do not use “Chapman Flux” because the manganese in it can contaminate your gold for jewelry purposes. There are little gold melting furnaces available on Amazon or contact a local prospecting club to see if anyone there will do it with you using their equipment. Most folks with this sort of gear are looking for opportunities to use it!

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Finally, the third step, once your gold is melted and purified, weigh it again. If you still have 4-5 grams, its time to stop by your neighborhood jewelry store. Ask to speak with their goldsmith; you will likely have to make an appointment. Bring your ‘button’ of gold with you to the meeting with the goldsmith. (In case you wondered, most goldsmiths will not work with your raw gold dust.) The goldsmith will weigh and test your gold and give you an estimate to make a ring. Expect it to cost $200-300 depending on how fancy you want the ring to be. As you probably know a ring is typically 14K gold. Your button is probably 22K or there about. The goldsmith will add some silver and copper most likely to dilute your gold down to 14K, making it harder and more durable in the process. A pure gold ring would get beat up and bent pretty quick, so you don’t want that. Adding other metals to get to 14K means 5 grams of pure gold ends up about 7 grams of metal which is plenty to cast a ring unless you have huge fingers, then add another gram or two. This is the process I used to get a ring made for my wife back in 2013. Maybe it is obvious, but of course the goldsmith can also make other jewelry of your choice from your gold. Just ask!

There is also an “easy button” if you don’t want to bother with melting your gold dust. David Emslie at Prospector’s Gold and Gems in Fort Collins, Colorado will take your dust and go through the whole process for you. Of course, it will cost a bit more since he is doing the purification, but it’s very easy and Dave does great goldsmithing work, some of it quite complex and unique. The ring my daughter had made for her to give her husband on their wedding day was made by Dave. (Yes, she dug gold for the ring herself!)

The ring my daughter gave her husband at the altar, simple and classic.Two more rings made this way: for my nephew and his new wife, both prospectors no less!

Need ideas for how to find enough gold to make a ring? There are quite a few prospecting sites written up on this website, start here. For lots more dig site info across all 18 main mining districts in Colorado, including over 180 dig sites, buy our books here.

But wait there’s more, I’ve published another guidebook with another 270 dig sites! Learn more and buy it here!


Just want a quick way to say thanks? Toss me a couple bucks at Tips for Kevin

How much gold do you need for a wedding ring?

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